[Ironruby-core] How do you convince .Net developers to use IronRuby?

Shay Friedman shay.friedman at gmail.com
Tue Nov 3 09:52:34 EST 2009

Thanks all for your replys. I might have been a bit harsh with the word I
chose... When I talk with .Net devs and present IronRuby to them, I don't
really want to "convince" them it's the best language (it can't be, it's an
entirely subjective opinion), I just try to add IronRuby to their list of
"to be interested in" stuff, a task which, as I wrote, I'm not successful
with too much.

Regarding people leaving - they don't really leave. Their attention does :)
Trying to speak with most of them might be frustrating as well since most of
them doesn't have something against IronRuby specifically, it's about a new
language in general. For example, one said to me "why does Microsoft release
so much languages - D, F#, IronPython, IronRuby? all I need is C#"...

Anyway, from your answers I understand that I should not expect much of an
interest now. We are the front runners now BUT the rest WILL follow! :)

I'm a big believer in presentations and telling people about technologies -
new or old. In my opinion, it is more effective than written articles (it
is, of course, not a substitute to the written word).
I try to talk wherever I can and my target is to push IronRuby to the
audience consciousness so when they need something IronRuby might really
help them in, it will jump to their mind. I plan to continue with that
(someone want to have me? :-) ) even though it is a bit frustrating

In conclusion, next time I'm doing an IronRuby presentation, I'd try to do
as follows:
1. Show them demos in their "natural" environment - Visual Studio:
  - .Net 4.0
  - Running IronRuby from C#
  - Maybe configure VS to execute ir.exe and write the demo code inside VS
(as a regular txt file) - to eliminate command line :)
2. Show them Ruby test frameworks and test custom .Net code. My suggestion:
3. Suggestion: show them how to install IronRuby from downloading until
running a Hello World sample.
4. DSLs - show them one heck of a DSL (a practical one).
5. Show how to use IronRuby for adding REPL abilities to a .Net application
or as an easy way to provide extension abilities to a .Net application.

IronRuby will prevail!!!


Shay Friedman
Author of IronRuby Unleashed
Follow me: http://twitter.com/ironshay

On Tue, Nov 3, 2009 at 1:27 PM, Thibaut Barrère
<thibaut.barrere at gmail.com>wrote:

> Very quick thoughts:
> - dynamic (ruby/python) is quite frightening for most .Net developers I
> know (they tend to have a mostly static background, C C++ Java .Net)
> - I tend to focus my energy on building useful stuff with X vs. advocating
> the use of X (valid point for .Net in 2001, Rails in 2005, Pascal in 1993,
> etc...). Even after seeing mind-changing implementations, most of the
> developers won't switch unless the change is enforced, somehow!
> - I agree with Kevin: listening then explaining is usually far more
> efficient as compared to convincing, which generates a strong force back.
> - I agree that despite the huge work behind it and the reliability of IR,
> we're very early in its life. Most people I know will expect a 1.0 timestamp
> before even trying to download the package.
> - I would try hard *not* to make hype at all around IronRuby. I know it's
> hard for book writers, early adopters etc, but honestly it tend to put too
> much expectations, and it's very quick to backfire with this. Just providing
> informational stuff, kind and useful, not "we're better than x" kind of
> stuff, works best in my opinion.
> Well this doesn't give you a solution, but hopefully a few more points to
> think about :)
> Thibaut
> --
> http://www.learnivore.com
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